Family travel creates long-lasting memories but it can also be huge task getting the whole family organised and ready for a big adventure. The steps below will help you get organised before and during your family vacation so you can spend more time having fun and less time stressing.
Whether you still use a good old pen and paper to stay organized or youíre more of a tech-savvy organizer, having one central place to keep all your vacation planning stored is crucial to planning a well-organized vacation. Keep your vacation to-do list, travel information, contact information for airlines and hotels, car rental information, passports, frequent flyer information and itineraries in one place like a dedicated folder and notebook or electronically with notebook programs and folders saved in the cloud.
Make sure everyone knows the plan for your family vacation. Get together to start planning the trip and come together again to talk through logistics and plan things like getting to the airport on departure day. If you have young children, find a good time to sit down and explain to them that your family vacation is coming up and what they can help with. Making them feel like part of the process will make your children more enthused to get ready on departure day.
When youíre going on a family vacation, particularly with young children, thereís several things that need to be packed, making it easy to over pack as the stress of getting organized creeps up. Keep things simple and pack light by laying out the clothing and personal items that each person needs to pack. To keep your packing even lighter, remove half of the items you laid out before it all gets packed into a suitcase or travel bag.
Organize your personal items in toiletry bags to keep all items together and protect your other items from potential product leaks. At the end of your vacation re-stock on travel kits and store them inside suitcases for the next trip.
For the kids, pack outfits for each day in food storage or freezer bags. At the end of the day put the dirty clothing back into the bag to keep clean clothing and laundry separate.
If youíre anticipating long wait times in the airport or have a big car journey ahead, keep any tantrums at bay by setting up young children with a small travel kit of activities that will keep them engaged throughout the journey. Light items like colouring books, pencils, stickers, activity books and small toys that can be packed back into a small bag are perfect to pack in your carry-on luggage or take in the car.
With airlines reducing the meal and snack service and the high expense of snacks at roadside stops and convenience stores, packing your own snacks to keep your familyís hunger at bay will keep everyone happy. Pack small bags of healthy snacks like nuts, crackers and fruit to stave off any hunger-induced temper tantrums.
Donít add more weight to your suitcase and increase clutter in your home with souvenirs. Try a clutter-free of remembering your trip by completing a travel journal or using postcards and photos from your vacation to create a holiday scrapbook.
To stop any tantrums when youíre in souvenir stores or museums, give each child a small amount of cash for souvenirs and treats at the beginning of the trip. Tell the kids there will be no more money for souvenirs or treats once it is spent. Letting the kids be in control of their money will help them feel like part of the decision-making process and teach them the value of money at the same time.
Following the steps above will help you and your family plan and enjoy incredible family vacations.